You don’t have to be as crazy as a loon to participate in the Adirondack Loon Census, all it takes is a watchful eye and a spare hour to enjoy the beauty of the Adirondack wildlife. WCS North America is looking for volunteers to assist with the annual census on Saturday, July 15.
How to Participate
Do you want to learn more about loons? Want to help keep the Adirondacks habitable and clean? Then dive on in! Since 2001, WCS North America and the Biodiversity Research Institute have carried out the Adirondack Loon Census every year on more than 200 lakes with the help of more than 500 volunteers, and this year is no different!
The 2017 Adirondack Loon Census will be conducted on Saturday, July 15 and the WCS needs your help. Local and visiting volunteers are essential in collecting accurate information about the loon population in the Adirondacks and in the rest of New York state. Observers will monitor a particular lake from 8 – 9 am on July 15 and indicate the number of adult loons, chicks, and immature loons they observe.
Interested in helping out? You can select a lake from the lake selection table on a first-come, first-serve basis, and then contact WCS North America to sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (518) 891-8872. The instructions for participating and the census form are available on WCS North America’s website (check out the sources below).
Why You Should Care About Loons
The Common Loon is an Adirondack staple; you can often find a pair of loons building their nests or hear their calls as the sun sets over one of the Adirondack’s many lakes. Loons in the Adirondacks face threats such as fishing line entanglement, toxins, shoreline development, and nest disturbance. The loon population, which has remained at a relatively stable 2000 loons in the Adirondacks, is used as a marker for the levels of mercury pollution in New York’s fresh water habitats. In turn, researchers work to understand mercury’s effects on the loons’ reproductive success.
Currently, more than a quarter of annual loon deaths are caused by lead poisoning from fishing gear, such as sinkers and jigs that are left behind in the water. Reducing the use of these lead-based fishing tools can help protect the loon population, and the census lets the WCS and their partners know whether their efforts are making a difference.
The loon census provides a snapshot of how the loons are faring and add more data to annual trends. If you’ve ever seen a loon out on the lake or heard its call, you’ll know its a wonderful experience. Relive the magic – or experience it for the first time – while helping to keep the loons’ Adirondack habitat safe by signing up to help out!
WCS North America: Adirondack Loon Census
WCS North America: Adirondack Loon Conservation